Intl Women's Day: Rafiki

Introduced by Grace Barber-Plentie, film critic, Sight & Sound, Gal-dem

Showing Times

Fri 08 Mar 18:40

Brimming with Afropop aesthetics and the dreamy intimacy of first love, Rafiki is a rallying indictment against Kenya’s homophobic laws. Set against the vibrant backdrop of the hustle and bustle of Nairobi, two very different girls must choose between their illegal love or the safety of conformity. Their irresistible attraction draws us into a queer, covert Romeo and Juliet romance. “Good Kenyan girls become good Kenyan wives,” the saying goes, but Kena and Ziki want more.

Rafiki was the only film from the African sub-continent shown at Cannes last year, and it was directed by Wanuri Kahiu, one of a strong cohort of Kenyan female filmmakers. Its depiction of a gay relationship led to a controversial ban by the Kenya Film Classification Board. The Board subsequently relented, sort of; the ban was lifted for 7 days so the film might be eligible for nomination for the Oscars.  We're showing it on International Women's Day, supported by a live introduction from fan Grace and a specially chosen short film.

This film is triple F-Rated.  This means that it has a fully developed female character at the centre of the film and that it has a female director and screenwriter.

We are also showing short Mahogany Too.  Ghanaian-American director Akosua Adoma Owusu reinterprets the 1975 cult classic MAHOGANY in this woozily beautiful short film.


Film Information

82 mins

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